Can you see the blinders?


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Can you see the blinders?

Quickie from wiki: “Blinders, also known as blinkers or winkers, are a piece of horse tack that restricts the horse's vision to the rear and, in some cases, to the side. They usually are made of leather or plastic cups that are placed on either side of the eyes, either attached to a bridle or to an independent hood. Many racehorse trainers believe this keeps the horse focused on what is in front of him, encouraging him to pay attention to the race rather than other distractions, such as crowds.”

Our culture and its associated educational system prepare young people for the work place so that as they reach adulthood they can easily assimilate into a work force that will help to maximize production and consumption, i.e. they will help maximize GDP. Our educational system graduates young people with a “set of winkers” sturdily attached to the cultural tack that will restrict the individual’s intellectual vision to those personal and community activities that will best enhance national GDP.

As a result our citizens are not prepared to deal with the complexities that result from our ingeniously developed high tech culture.

“Tradition” is a word for a complete set of blinders. Tradition provides us with sets of assumptions that we pick up, not through a process of contemplation, but through a process of social osmosis. Of course our family and our immediate community provide more provincial assumptions.

Our Western tradition is primarily forged from a Judeo-Christian heritage. Our idea of the universal moral status of each and every person is equal because we are created “in the image of God”. That which makes us equal is our essential human characteristic of reason. “That is, we all stand equally under the same moral laws, and so have the same duties toward ourselves and others. As rational, all are due equal respect as moral agents.”

“But the fact is that what we come to regard as this ‘universal’, ‘formal’, ‘limiting’ principle of reason (i.e. the principle of universal moral personhood) is only one among the many possible principles, values, goods, and ends we might reasonably come to embrace. It just happens to be the foundational principle for our moral tradition. But to say that it is foundational for our tradition does not make it a formal principle of reason itself.

Quotes from Moral Imagination by Mark Johnson